Two novels from Peter James' Roy Grace series will be adapted for ITV by screenwriter and "Endeavour" creator Russell Lewis.
John Sim will take the lead role of the tenacious detective with filming due to take place in Brighton early next year.
Entitled "Grace", the two 120-minute screenplays will focus on the first two stories in the series, Dead Simple and Looking Good Dead (both published by Pan Macmillan), which introduced Brighton-based Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, a hard-working police officer who has given his life to the job.
James said: "John Simm, who actually looks like the Roy Grace of my imagination, is inspired casting! With John in the lead, the brilliant scripting by Russell Lewis, and our wonderful production team, I’m confident that fans of my novels and of TV crime dramas in general will be in for a treat."
Polly Hill, ITV’s head of drama, and drama commissioner Huw Kennair Jones commissioned "Grace" for the channel. ITV Studios GE will be responsible for the international distribution of "Grace".
Kennair Jones, who will oversee production of the drama, said: “With the brilliant combination of Peter James, Russell Lewis and John Simm, 'Grace' promises to be a compelling new detective series for ITV and we're delighted to be bringing the iconic books to life with such an exciting production team.”
Co-produced by Second Act Productions, Tall Story Pictures and Vaudeville Productions, the first film, "Dead Simple", will be directed by John Alexander with the second film, "Looking Good Dead", directed by Julia Ford.
Lewis said: “I’m thrilled and honoured to be involved in bringing Peter James’ brilliantly gripping series of Roy Grace novels to ITV. Each story is a fantastic, hair-raising, twisting, switch-back of a roller-coaster ride that grips the reader from first to last, and the opportunity to translate that bestselling magic to television is like all one’s Christmases and birthdays come at once. As his millions of fans and admirers are well aware, Peter's meticulous research and eye for detail is the stuff of legend. His long-established, close relationship with the police, taken together with a knowledge of Brighton and the South Coast that is the sole preserve of the born and bred lends his stories an unimpeachable veracity of place and procedure. That John Simm will be breathing flesh to the bones of Roy Grace really is the cherry on a dark, and troublingly encrimsoned cake…”